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Greek Theater. Roots in Worship of Dionysus God of wine and revelry.

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Presentation on theme: "Greek Theater. Roots in Worship of Dionysus God of wine and revelry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Greek Theater

2 Roots in Worship of Dionysus God of wine and revelry

3 Origins Celebration of Dionysus- God of Wine Performed in circular dancing place (orchestra) A chorus of men dressed in goat skins Trageoia= goat song A story about Dionysus by leader of the chorus

4 PRODUCTION Orchestra  Orchestra  Chorus (from people)  Actors- always men, masked and in costumes  Early plays of Aeschylus- only two actors; by about 450 B.C., a third had been added  The poet composed the music and the dance as well as the text, directed the production, and trained the chorus; some dramatists also played the leading roles.

5 Masks of Greek Theater

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8 The chorus was dominant because there was usually one actor and that actor had to leave the stage several times during a show to change characters. The chorus was to be a representation of society, they often served as the “ideal spectator” by providing advice, opinions, questions to the audience and actors. The main actor(s) stood apart in the performance space because they typically played heroic figure that would realistically be separated from normal mortal beings. Their costumes and masks added spectacle and their movement and dance heightened the dramatic effect. Great actors were characterized by their voice quality and the ability to adopt their manner of speaking to the character. The chorus was dominant because there was usually one actor and that actor had to leave the stage several times during a show to change characters. The chorus was to be a representation of society, they often served as the “ideal spectator” by providing advice, opinions, questions to the audience and actors. The main actor(s) stood apart in the performance space because they typically played heroic figure that would realistically be separated from normal mortal beings. Their costumes and masks added spectacle and their movement and dance heightened the dramatic effect. Great actors were characterized by their voice quality and the ability to adopt their manner of speaking to the character. The Greek Chorus

9 Functions of Chorus The beauty of poetry and dancing Relieves tension Interprets events for audience Often converses with the actors; gives advice Gives background of events

10 Chorus

11 A drama of a character, usually one in high position, where a conflict usually develops between the protagonist/hero and a “superior force (such as destiny, circumstance, or society)” and the story ends in some sort of disaster or great fall of the protagonist. Tragedy A drama of a character, usually one in high position, where a conflict usually develops between the protagonist/hero and a “superior force (such as destiny, circumstance, or society)” and the story ends in some sort of disaster or great fall of the protagonist. Tragedy n A drama of a character, usually one in a high position, where a conflict usually develops between the protagonist/hero and a “superior force (such as destiny, circumstance, or society)” and the story ends in some sort of disaster or great fall of the protagonist.

12 Hubris and Hamartia On Hamartia: “A tragic flaw or error that in ancient Greek tragedies leads to the hero’s reversal of fortune.” On Hubris: Excessive pride or arrogance. Often leads to the downfall of the major character in Greek tragedy.

13 Thespis of Athens Ca. 535 B.C.E. Father of Drama Created the first actor Hypokrites

14 Moving on… New myths are used, not just Dionysus Aeschylus: introduced second actor Dialogue Sophocles: introduced third actor Dramatic action

15 GREAT GREEK TRAGEDIANS  AESCHYLUS (ca B.C.)  SOPHOCLES (ca B.C.)  EURIPIDES (c B.C.)

16 AESCHYLUS (ca B.C.) The "Father of Tragedy"  The "Father of Tragedy"  Addition of a second actor  Made much use of imagery  His tragedy deals Fates and the justice of the gods  His plays reflect the contemporary belief that the gods, jealous and resentful of human greatness, typically inflict great persons with a character flaw that brings their ruin

17 Sophocles

18 SOPHOCLES (ca B.C.) Won the competition at the Great Dionysia more often than any other of the great dramatists  Won the competition at the Great Dionysia more often than any other of the great dramatists  He increased the potential for dramatic conflict by adding a third actor  wrote dramas which were complete in themselves, rather than always part of a trilogy  Sophoclean drama deals primarily with strong characters

19 EURIPIDES (c B.C.) Wrote prolifically- some 90 plays, of which 19 survived  Wrote prolifically- some 90 plays, of which 19 survived  He won the prize for the best play only four times (but then the Academy Awards usually get it wrong too).  He wrote of less heroic, more realistic characters

20 EURIPIDES Cont.  One device he uses (and it is often seen as a weakness in his plays) is the deus ex machina, a god, not involved earlier in the action, who descends in a stage machine to straighten out the mess humans have got themselves into.

21 Structure of Tragedy Prologue-First Act Parados- Entrance of the Chorus Episodes- Acts Stasima-Choral Odes Exedus- Action after last stasimon

22 Typical Greek Theatre Theatron- where the audience sits Open air Hillside Seating capacity of the Theatron of Dionysus of Athens? About 17,000

23 Dionysus Theater in Athens

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25 Orchestra-dancing place of the chorus Skene- dressing room for actors Proscenium- the façade of the skene where scenery was- No curtains No curtains Dues et Machina- technical device- crane atop the skene with a dummy hung representing gods.

26 The Greek Outdoor Amphitheatre

27 Tunnel from behind the Skene to the center of the stage. Scenic wagons revealed through doors on the Skene. Pinakes painted panels that could be attached to the skene. Tunnel from behind the Skene to the center of the stage. Scenic wagons revealed through doors on the Skene. Pinakes painted panels that could be attached to the skene. The Machina- a crane that was used to represent characters who were flying or lifted off of the earth. Deus ex Machina- “God From the Machine” Deus ex Machina- “God From the Machine”

28 Differences: Drama, Then and Now Greek drama(GD) is a religious GD get its subjects from mythology GD outlines the plot in advance, little suspence GD main intrest is relgioun and ethical instruction All Short plays 17,000 longest to 900 shortest

29 Rated G No violent action Scenes of horror happen off stage Reported to the audience

30 Unity Unity of action- no subplots Unity of place-no change of scenery Unity of time- max of one day No intermissions Twice a year in the day

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32 Staging an ancient Greek play  Plays were funded by the polis  Plays presented in competition with other plays  Tragedies almost exclusively dealt with stories from the mythic past  Comedies almost exclusively dealt with contemporary figures and problems.  The great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were performed annually at the spring festival of Dionysus, god of wine, and inspiration  The great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were performed annually at the spring festival of Dionysus, god of wine, and inspiration.

33 Theater at Epidaurus

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35 Dionysus Theater in Athens

36 Chorus

37 Aristotle’s Poetics

38 1. Central Character is of the Elite Class – Usually noble or Royal

39 2. Central Character suffers a Downfall

40 3. Central Character is Neither Wholly good nor wholly evil

41 4. Downfall is the result of a Fatal Flaw or error (Hamartia)

42 5. Misfortunes involve characters who are related or who are friends – closely connected

43 6. Tragic actions take place offstage

44 7. Central Character has a moment of recognition

45 8. Audience experiences pity and fear

46 Pity and Fear leads to a catharsis According to Aristotle, this is one of the most important purposes of Drama

47 Oedipus and Sphinx

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50 Audience at Theater of Delphi

51 TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA 7th Century BC  c. 625 Arion at Corinth produces named dithyrambic choruses 6th Century BC  Cleisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon, transfers "tragic choruses" to Dionysus  Pisistratus, tyrant of Athens, founds the festival of the Greater Dionysia

52 TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA  Thespis puts on tragedy at festival of the Greater Dionysia in Athens  525 Aeschylus was born  Phrynichus' first victory in tragedy  c. 500 Pratinus of Phlius introduces the satyr play to Athens

53 TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA 5th Century BC  Aeschylus' first dramatic competition  c. 496 Sophocles was born  492 Phrynicus' Capture of Miletus (Miletus was captured by the Persians in 494)  485 Euripides was born  484 Aeschylus' first dramatic victory  472 Aeschylus' Persians  467 Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes  468 Aeschylus defeated by Sophocles in dramatic competition

54 TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA Aeschylus' Suppliant Women  463? Aeschylus' Suppliant Women  458 Aeschylus' Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides)  456 Aeschylus dies  c. 450 Aristophanes was born  447 Parthenon begun in Athens  c. 445 Sophocles' Ajax  441 Sophocles' Antigone  438 Euripides' Alcestis  Peloponnesian War (Athens and allies vs. Sparta and allies)

55 TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA  431 Euripides' Medea  c. 429 Sophocles' Oedipus the King  428 Euripides' Hippolytus  423 Aristophanes' Clouds  415 Euripides' Trojan Women  406 Euripides dies; Sophocles dies  405 Euripides' Bacchae  404 Athens loses Peloponnesian War to Sparta

56 TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA  401: Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus 4th Century BC  399 Trial and death of Socrates  c. 380's Plato's Republic includes critique of Greek tragedy and comedy  c. 330's Aristotle's Poetics includes defense of Greek tragedy and comedy

57 Delphi

58 “Indeed, some say that dramas are so called, because their authors represent the characters as "doing" them (drôntes). And it is on this basis that the Dorians [= the Spartans, etc.] lay claim to the invention of both tragedy and comedy. For comedy is claimed by the Megarians here in Greece, who say it began among them at the time when they became a democracy [c. 580 BC], and by the Megarians of Sicily on the grounds that the poet Epicharmas came from there and was much earlier than Chionides and Magnes; while tragedy is claimed by certain Dorians of the Peloponnese. They offer the words as evidence, noting that outlying villages, called dêmoi by the Athenians, are called kômai by them, and alleging that kômôdoi (comedians) acquired their name, not from kômazein (to revel), but from the fact that, being expelled in disgrace from the city, they wandered from village to village. The Dorians further point out that their word for "to do" is drân, whereas the Athenians use prattein. ”(Aristotle: Poetics Chapter 3)

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